Beth Daranciang doesn’t have a chance of unseating state Rep. Javier Valdez in Washington’s 46th Legislative District, which is probably for the best.
Voters should elect Valdez, a Democrat and city of Seattle business advocate, to a second full term in Position 2.
Daranciang, a public-health researcher, is a conservative Republican who reposts divisive propaganda on social media, including recent attacks on mail voting.
That doesn’t sync with the district’s progressive majority: 82% voted against her in a 2018 state Senate race, and 83% voted for Valdez in the primary.
Yet Valdez and others gliding to reelection should still hear the legitimate concerns of such challengers.
Daranciang said she’s running in part because she felt ignored when testifying on bills regarding surrogate parents and sex education in schools.
She was unlikely to prevail in the Democrat-controlled Legislature. But perceived snubs of people with her point of view fueled a political feud and initiative over the new sex-education policy. It sets standards for curriculum, which is chosen by local districts.
It’s not clear Democrats could have avoided this culture war — it’s a lightning rod for Republicans to ignite their base — but they should reflect on whether they were sensitive enough to concerns of religious voters.
Either way, Daranciang’s complaint that Valdez’s legislative office wouldn’t listen to voters outside the district is valid.
Valdez didn’t deny it. He said staff is limited, so he prioritizes constituents. But his committee work in particular — as second vice chair of the transportation committee and member of the education committee that passed the sex-ed bill — demands consideration of all Washingtonians’ concerns.
That’s also important given the powerful life story Valdez tells while campaigning.
Valdez is the successful son of Moses Lake immigrant laborers — a beautiful American story. It also should signal sensitivity to diverse viewpoints and concerns on both sides of the state, which is always needed in Olympia.
Reelect Valdez to District 46 House Position 2.